By Eric Breon, founder & CEO of Vacasa

It’s an exciting time to be a tech company in Portland. Talented people want to live and work here, and that’s a significant factor in how the local tech scene—including Vacasa—has been able to succeed and grow.

But as that success happens, I believe the tech industry has a responsibility to help ensure that Portland’s more vulnerable residents aren’t missing out on opportunities—especially students. That’s why my team and I are so excited to get involved with 4K 4Charity Fun Run PDX 2016 and support Rosemary Anderson High School.

This very special school serves students who are at risk of losing out on their education, which is so essential to a bright future. Young people who have not found success in traditional schools—either by dropping out, being expelled, or struggling with homelessness—can get a second chance at RAHS.

And the school’s alternative approach, tailored to reach these students, really works. Over 90% of their enrolled students graduate, compared to 19% of the national average of dropouts who try to go back to school.

I love the idea of helping give these students a second chance, but at Vacasa, we look for opportunities to give back that go beyond just writing a check. It’s in our company’s DNA. Since our inception, we have always asked our local teams across the country to be actively involved in giving back and supporting the communities where we manage vacation homes.  

So that’s why our Portland team and I really enjoyed hosting the 4K 4Charity Tech Fair at our global headquarters in the Pearl District. We were excited to share our office for a day with students from Rosemary Anderson High School.

In the morning, they attended a student-moderated panel of speakers from several of the tech companies sponsoring the race (Elemental, New Relic, Puppet, Simple, UnoSquare, and Vacasa). And in the afternoon, employees from each organization hosted a booth and spoke with students about different career paths within a tech company. Students who were interested in specific career paths asked questions, heard real-world examples, and simply connected with tech workers face-to-face.

As Portland continues to grow and change, we’ll need to continue to work together to make sure all of its residents can benefit, and have access to a quality education and opportunities. It takes hands-on involvement and some hard work, but that should be something the founders and employees of tech companies and start-ups are used to. Won’t you join us?